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No GPS, No DVD player - Must Be Trade-in Time

     I sure need a new car. Mine’s in excellent condition – if you don’t count the slow oil leak. Runs great; acceleration from standstill to freeway speed is topnotch; gas mileage is acceptable at eighteen miles to the gallon; interior is clean and comfy - and I love my Gran Sport!

     But it’s old. Well, it’s not so much “old” as pathetically out-dated. First off, it isn’t an SUV. But then I don’t have a family to haul around, so that’s okay. Still, it doesn’t even look like an SUV. Which also is probably okay, as I’ve noticed SUVs are beginning to look suspiciously like station wagons and have you noticed? Commercials for SUVs are now claiming that the new models maneuver like a car… Methinks the automakers are working their way back to the good old family sedan. A bit racier, a bit larger maybe, but a sedan nevertheless. So on that point, I’m fine.

     The reason I need a new car isn’t for performance or looks. It’s the gadgets. I knew it was time for a trade-in when I read about the lady who asks her car where she can get the best Chinese food – and it tells her. Gee, my Gran Sport doesn’t even know how much gas is in its tank or how to get where it’s going and it couldn’t tell me where to find the nearest MacDonald’s, let alone a fine Chinese restaurant. And if you’ve noticed, the headrests atop my front seats are completely barren – not a DVD screen in sight.

     Heaven knows how I’ve made it all these years without anything on the dash – um, control panel – to tell me when to start looking for a gas station. And as for directions, I don’t even have one of those digital compasses on my rearview mirror. Most days I have to rely on the sun. On cloudy days I get lost a lot.

     Actually I depend on my “Thomas Brothers Map” – the hard copy, not the CD – when I’m heading off into strange territory. But that’s not so easy to read while you’re driving down unfamiliar streets – even if you’ve opened it to the right page and laid it on the passenger seat beside you. I really need one of those electronic maps that shouts out street-by-street directions as you drive through town.

     Another thing - I constantly have to readjust the temperature from cold to warm and back to not-that-warm! The car I owned before my Gran Sport automatically kept the temperature at seventy-two degrees no matter what was happening outside, but unfortunately I fell in love with the acceleration of the Gran Sport and never even noticed the temperature controls until two months after I bought it. I’m sure all the new models have auto-temp control.

     And… if I get me a new vehicle, why not a hybrid? Do they have all the gadgets, too? I’ll check one out - after the convertible and a couple of sports cars. Those little PT Cruisers are kind’a cute, too, but I don’t think the grandkids would go for that. Gramma in a flamed-up PT Cruiser? Or maybe they would… as long as they could watch the latest DVD as we cruise down the boulevard.

     Anyway, I sure hope I can find me a nice car without an eighty page owner’s manual ’cause I’m still trying to get through my new cell phone manual which, by the way, has a section on “driving mode.” My old phone didn’t have that, but this will be perfect. I’ll just set my phone to “driving mode,” climb into the back seat of my brand-new flaming PT Cruiser and watch the latest DVD with the grandkids.

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